Air New Zealand sends Paul Holmes to China so he’ll talk about it on his radio show – for the few remaining months he has left on air.
Surely people (his listeners) will see through his probable ramblings about China for what it will be…blatant advertising.
He wasn’t a formal guest of the government party, but gate-crashed the gig. Officials found him a place at the after-match function, hopefully near the toilets at the back of the room.
Meanwhile the Stuff newsite runs a poll on whether we think that a FTA (PDF Document) with China is a good thing. The consensus is overwhelmingly NO. At 8.35pm tonight 81% disagreed with the deal.
I’m guessing that most of those people are against it because of the situation in Tibet. That’s an OK thing to be upset about but it’s naive to suggest that we should stop trade, or we should not try to improve our trade position with a country as big as China because of Tibet, or because of China’s lack of human rights. If we boycotted everything that was made in China most of the appliances in our house would become unusable (because of the Chinese components). The Warehouse would shut (shock, horror). It’d be damn near impossible to exist in our modern, consumer driven world.
Perhaps this is too idealistic, but, with our newly found Favoured Nation status we could have more influence than before over issues such as human rights. And as the free trade flows between China and New Zealand, and the wage rates and living standards rise in the Chinese economy the Chinese government will need to grant more rights to its people. As the economy grows the Chinese people will demand this of their government.
We have just established a trade agreement with the biggest country on earth. Good for us!